About the Publication

The Return of Malthus: Environmentalism and the Post-war Population–Resource Crises


The Return of Malthus is the first comprehensive analysis of the post-war fear of scarcity. Linnér traces the development of an international discourse of crisis through the influence of such thinkers as William Vogt, Fairfield Osborn and Georg Börgström, labelled ‘neo-Malthusians’ for their emphasis on an impending clash between population growth and resource limits, after the manner of the nineteenth-century father of scarcity economics. The book analyses the role of science and technology in securing food supply, the transmutation of older ideas about preserving nature into a new conservation ideology based on sustainable use, and the preoccupation of the industrialised nations with forestalling communism and controlling power relations.

Pedestrians in London. Photo Vitalijs Barilo / Unsplash.


Linnér, B.-O. (2023). The Return of Malthus: Environmentalism and Post-war Population–Resource Crises. White Horse Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/jj.2225683

Authors of this publication

Björn-Ola Linnér ,